Monday, April 14, 2014

What's Next?

The Flash Blog is over; what's next?"
-Anonymous commenter

Great question; glad you asked!

Yes, we are extremely proud of the success of yesterday's National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day virtual protest #SaveRyanWhitePartD Flash Blog: No HIV+ Women & Children Left Behind!

(We had over 100 posts that throughout the entire day were featured on the Flash Blog site and cross-posted in various places on Twitter and Facebook, and we even attracted a little bit of media attention! And our petition has nearly 8,000 signatures!)

However, that's not the end. It's only the beginning.

We need to "keep at it" because we need Congress and the President to understand the importance of this issue. So, post-flash blog, our plans going forward include:

1. Heavily promoting the activities that various organizations in the community are doing specifically around Part D advocacy:

Holding a CAB meeting in your state related to Part D? Gearing up for a letter-writing campaign with your group? Got a community rally planned in your city? Were you recently quoted in a publication? Etc? We'll gladly post an announcement, the agenda, the minutes, pics, etc. This will not only help to feature your activities and demonstrate how many different people are involved, but it will help give other people ideas of what they can try to do in their areas as well.

2. Providing a central hub for sharing resources and communication:

Our official website is nearly completed and will be released in a few days. Aside from housing all of our social media endeavors in one place, it will also have direct links to all of the great organizations and individuals' pages that we've been in contact with concerning Part D advocacy. It will be updated regularly to add new people. We will also post links to helpful advocacy tips and toolkits.

3. Collaborating with existing leadership groups that are working in this issue:

We have connected with several experts in the field and are working cohesively to provide helpful feedback to them as well as incorporate their suggestions into our work. Many of them are established leaders in HIV advocacy, and it is both exciting and humbling to work with them! When possible, we will actively support their previously planned and future advocacy endeavors, i.e. AIDS Watch, conference calls, strategic meetings, etc.

4. Continuing to educate the public about this topic and obtain widespread support:

We will continue to speak at large and small venues, engage in targeted outreach, utilize list serves, and share on social media in order to inform the larger public about this issue and increase the size and reach of our allies. We will also continue to circulate the petition. There is strength in numbers!

5. Launching additional Save Ryan White Part D Initiative Campaigns:

We have upcoming campaigns in the works as well that we will be unveiling in the near future. One of them is a multi-media campaign led by Janet Kitchen of Florida entitled "We Exist." Others include a blog series tentatively named "Why Part D?" and a targeted outreach campaign entitled "S.O.S: Save Our Services/Science." We will reveal more details about all of these soon. We also hope to host additional conference calls as needed.

So...get ready, 'cause here we are! Thanks so much for your support thus far; with you on our team we will keep moving forward in our goal to #SaveRyanWhitePartD!

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